Scientific study of the human mind and of people has shown us many things relevant to the process of counseling and psychotherapy:
- People often have distorted views of themselves and the world.
- People are often blind to these distortions, when trying to see them, themselves and will often make the same mistake over and over again.
- People naturally avoid certain predictable elements of their life. This can lead to procrastination, feeling stuck and stunting movement or growth.
- Trauma, even lower-intensity prolonged stress can change the way our brains and mind operate.
- Talking or thinking through issues can have a real healing effect on the mind and body and can significantly improve the quality of life.
- It is important for people to know that Psychotherapy is not “one thing. Although it is based in scientific principles and study, there are many schools of thought about how to do it, what it can help and how it works. There are also different levels of training and, like anything else, skill.
Psychotherapy/counseling is a tool for helping one gain a different perspective on their life situation and for catalyzing growth and movement. It is a place to learn skills that can be applied in “real-life” (outside) situations. It is also a place to process trauma, and to return back to a place of peace and trust.
While not everyone needs therapy, everyone could benefit from going through the process.
Psychological assessment is a process of measuring a psychological attribute or skill to be able to better understanding oneself. There are many reasons why a person would undergo assessment, but ultimately it is an objective snapshot of a person’s functioning, typically compared to people with similar characteristics.
- someone might become concerned that they or their parent’s memory loss might represent something other than ‘normal aging.’ Formal testing could clarify that question.
- A student might need benefit from minor accommodation in their classroom to maximize the chance of success. Formal testing could determine if they would qualify for lawful modification of the curriculum or testing environment.
- Someone might be interested in their pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses within themselves, and compared to similar individuals. They might also be interested in understanding their “personality.” This might help vocational choices or career paths, or just helping someone get to “know themselves.”
Therapy and assessment can go hand in hand – for example, depression or anxiety can be quantified and tracked. ADHD confirmation can lead to recommendations for behavioral treatments to improve attentional skills.